Also see our posts labeled “Church Books and Civil Records.”
Most German civil records began in 1874, although some towns did not begin fully implementing the record-keeping system until a few years later. These Standesamt documents provide valuable insight into the lives of people. Early records might list the Anzeigender, or the aforementioned person, with parents who are unknown, with only their professions, or otherwise incomplete information. Name spellings may vary, for instance: Carl and Karl, Oscar and Oskar, or Christina or Christine.
Birth records will list the birth place, date, time of birth, parents, and sometimes other information. Marriage records document the bride and groom, their parents, and two witnesses. These marriage records are invaluable for providing information concerning the individuals and their families. Death records typically name the person testifying that the person is indeed dead, the death date, sometimes the birth date (or an estimated date of birth), age, location, and other information. The profession of the person is usually denoted in all civil records and is extremely helpful for weeding through common names.
Please note that some records may not have survived World War II; however, do not be misled. A great many of these documents did, in fact, survive and are preserved today in archives in Germany and Poland. Just because it has not made its way online yet does not mean that the records do not exist. Also, records held in Köslin and Stettin will not include those younger than 100 years old; to find those records, you may have to look to local registry offices in Poland.
Documents currently held in German archives are subject to limitations based on the number of years since the event has elapsed.
- Births: 110 years
- Marriages: 80 years
- Deaths: 30 years
Documents currently held in Polish archives are subject to similar limitations according to this structure. For births, however, one may search records that 100 years or older. Certain other limitations may be placed upon volumes of documents. For instance, if Standesamt were to have the years 1916-1936 bound into a single volume, the entire volume may be restricted until the youngest date has reached the age of limitation.
Please visit Pommerscher Greif e.V. for a comprehensive search. To search for online availability, click here. If you would like to see a catalogued listing of all books, please see the complete list. If you would like to search by Kreis, please see the place directory.
For more information about civil registry in Germany, please see this FamilySearch article.
In time, records will be uploaded to metryki.genbaza.pl. Because of new Polish laws, each book must be indexed by the Pomeranian Genealogical Association (PTG) before it can be placed online. To register, please read the instructions. Already, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch have included many books that were previously on microfilm. In due time, the complete collection of church books will become available for searching.